How Scandinavian Style Got a Cult Following
For those who haven’t been paying attention, Scandinavian style has been on the lips of any editor, stylist, or style star for the better part of the last couple years. Think of it as the latest sartorial equivalent of Parisian chic. However, it wasn’t until the last two fashion seasons and the catalyst that is the Copenhagen-based brand, Ganni, that it truly began to stick.
Despite all the intrigue into Scandi-cool style, Nordic fashion weeks were overwhelmingly disregarded until last year. Fast forward to the Spring/Summer 2018 collections and suddenly Copenhagen and Stockholm were the place to see and be seen. If fashion weeks are a barometer to the authority of their respective regions, Scandinavia is currently the pinnacle of style influence.
Every generation there is a cultural awakening in which one region has a particular influence over sartorial decision-making. In the midst of our social-media obsessed, information-overloaded minds, what is it in particular that made Scandinavia have the It factor amongst the rest of stylish women worldwide?
To answer this question I turned to the teachings of the woman who is single-handedly responsible for my own Scandinavian obsession—Pernille Teisbaek. Style influencer, former fashion editor, stylist, and above all else, It girl, Pernille exudes an elusive essence of cool, confident, and the unique strain of quirky Scandinavian charm, all while being care-free. In a nod to her undeniable charisma, she released a book under the title of my very quandary, Dress Scandinavian.
In it she states, “I believe that our uniqueness and our ability to excite others stems from the way we combine colors and materials and from our urge to create new silhouettes, which focuses on minimalism and comfort.”
Scroll through the Instagram accounts of the numerous other Scandinavian women who are acclaimed in the realm of fashion, whether stylists, editors or influencers, and these words reverberate. Furthering her point, scroll through the account of women who aren’t in the fashion industry, or even fashion adjacent, and they have that same inimitable look.
Post a bout of Instagram stalking of these simultaneously inspiring yet enviable women, you’re left with the task equivalent of a science experiment and analyzing the data to draw conclusions. Fundamentally, what makes Scandinavian style so unique is the focus on investments through quality over quantity and that the beauty is in the details. “It’s not about investing in lots of expensive items; it’s about personalizing each item and reusing them over and over again, but in new ways.”
It’s about paired down glamour and laid back luxury. As the world has become fixated on the term ‘hygge’—the Danish word roughly translated as ‘cosiness’—so too has the fashion industry. It’s about comfort, minimalism and personality. Staring at the feed of any of the aforementioned fashion-oriented women and you’re bound to find ubiquity amongst the variations—muted colors, basics like the white button-down shirt or blazer, perfectly fitted jeans, sneakers, and statement accessories.
The reason Scandinavian style gained a cult following is not merely for the clothing itself, but the lifestyle it represents. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland are amongst the happiest in the world, and it’s overwhelmingly linked back to that elusive concept of ‘hygge’.
“Comfort ranks highly when we put together an outfit, but every little detail has been carefully considered, even when it looks as if we just quickly threw something on. The Scandinavian style equals confidence and tranquility, which is what makes it so appealing.”